UBC has the best psychology program in Canada: new Maclean’s rankings

UBC Psychology Mon Nov 9 2015

For the first time ever, Maclean’s has ranked the best universities in 10 program areas—including psychology—and UBC Psychology ranks number one in Canada. Psychology is the most popular undergraduate major at UBC, with over 1800 students working toward their BA degree and over 150 studying for their BSc degree.

UBC professor honoured for research into children’s language acquisition

UBC News Mon Nov 16 2015

Congratulations to Psychology professor Janet Werker, who has won the 2015 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Gold Medal for her achievements in the field of children’s language acquisition. This is the first time a UBC professor has received the highest SSHRC research honour.

What goes into preparing for a TEDxVancouver talk?

News 1130 Sat Nov 14 2015 By: Mike Lloyd

UBC economics professor Marina Adshade explains that TED speakers spend a lot of time writing and perfecting their talk. “If you have a lot to say, which most of us do, you really have to organize yourself,” Adshade said.

Adshade was one of almost two dozen experts who spoke at TEDx Vancouver on Saturday.

Political scientist discusses the aftermath of the Paris attacks

CKNW Sat Nov 14 2015

UBC political scientist Allen Sens says the world will be watching to see how France reacts in the days following the Paris attacks.

“France is one of the countries that are deeply engaged in the fight against ISIS in the Middle East….It’s also a country that has deep divisions on Islamic extremism and Islam generally, and in the treatment of its Arab populations,” Sens told CKNW. “One of the things to watch for is will there be a backlash. There’s already a great deal of hostility and suspicion…the [attacks] can provoke deep racial and religious hostility.”

Sens also spoke to News 1130.

More Metro Vancouver residents turning to vans, trailers, RVs

The Vancouver Sun Sat Nov 14 2015 By: Kelly Sinoski

Metro Vancouver residents who are living in vans, trailers and similar vehicles to avoid paying rent are the focus of a new article in the Vancouver Sun.

UBC sociology professor Nathanael Lauster says high housing costs is mostly to blame for the growing number of people living in vehicles.

“These vans and RVs can be a relatively warm and dry place to stay and rest your head,” said Lauster.

Green promises among red tide

Winnipeg Free Press Fri Nov 13 2015 By: Aaron Freeman

Many of the Liberals’ promises about environment policy aren’t specific enough, according to UBC political scientist Kathryn Harrison.

“It calls for a national price on carbon but doesn’t give any details about what that scheme would look like,” Harrison said, adding that the three major party platforms all “left the door open to one or more pipelines.”

Preparing for Syrian refugees’ arrival to Canada

The Georgia Straight Fri Nov 13 2015 By: Millicent Mabi

Millicent Mabi, a PhD student in library, archival and information Studies at UBC, calls for better preparation for refugees arriving in Canada. Mabi has studied the experiences of international students at UBC and believes there should be stronger institutional will to better support these students so that they will thrive in their new environment.

Refugee sponsorship a chance to turn generosity into happiness

The Globe and Mail Sun Nov 15 2015 By: Wency Leung

A Globe and Mail article explores Canada’s Group of Five sponsorship program, which allows groups of five or more Canadians to sponsor a refugee or refugee family by providing financial and emotional support for around a year.

The program is ideal for turning people’s generous impulses into happiness, according to Elizabeth Dunn, a happiness researcher at UBC. This is because it fosters immediate connections between givers and recipients, and because donors can see how their generosity is making a difference.

The art (and science) of “aping”

Psychology Today Thu Nov 12 2015 By: Glenn Altschuler

Joseph Henrich, a professor at Harvard and UBC, proposes that humans’ uniqueness lies “less in the power of individual minds than in the collective brains of our communities” in his book The Secret of Our Success:  How Culture is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter.

Psychology Today reviewer Glenn Altschuler calls the book “immensely ambitious, informative and important.”

UBC marks 45th anniversary of Canada-China ties

Radio Canada Fri Nov 13 2015

UBC’s celebration of the 45th anniversary of Canada-China diplomatic relations was the focus of a Radio Canada article (in Chinese).

The anniversary was marked by a day-long public event hosted by UBC’s Institute of Asian Research (IAR).

The event was also covered by Singtao, Fairchild TV, and Xinhua News. Mingpao News ran a story on a new IAR publication highlighting 100 years of UBC-China connections and comments from IAR professor Paul Evans.

Ancient philosophies of happiness

Vancouver Courier Thu Nov 12 2015 By: Pat Johnson

Michael Griffin, a UBC assistant professor of classics and philosophy, will lead a day-long program called Ancient Philosophies of Happiness on Saturday, Nov. 14.

The program, which is open to everyone, will examine how ancient Greek ideas about a well-lived life could enlighten the modern-day search for meaning and happiness.

Don’t reward corporations for donating food waste, critic says

The Tyee Fri Nov 13 2015 By: Andrew MacLeod

Amid reports that around 40 per cent of the food produced in Canada is wasted, UBC professor emeritus Graham Riches argues that corporations shouldn’t be offered tax breaks for donating excess food.

Riches says the donation would reward overproduction and wouldn’t alleviate the issue of hunger.

Canada-China diplomatic relations at 45

CBC News Thu Nov 12 2015

Yves Tiberghien, director of UBC’s Institute of Asian Research, talked about the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Canada and China on CBC Early Edition.

Canada’s early start in opening relations between the two countries remains significant, Tiberghien said, adding that Pierre Trudeau’s China visit in 1973 was a strategic move that acknowledged China’s importance in the international system.

UBC marked the anniversary with a day of panel discussions featuring academics, diplomats and people from industry.

Moderating Japan’s UNESCO policy

The Diplomat Fri Nov 13 2015 By: Trevor Kennedy

Japan is keen on promoting its 15 UNESCO cultural sites and four natural sites, which provide much needed economic stimulus through tourism. However, the country should avoid politicizing the nomination process for heritage designation, writes UBC master’s student Trevor Kennedy.

Kennedy cited Japan’s attempt to nominate documents pertaining to the use of forced labour of 450,000 captured Japanese in the USSR, a move that drew criticism from Russia.

China set to make its mark on the G-20

Nikkei Thu Nov 12 2015 By: Yves Tiberghien

The G-20 leaders’ summit this weekend is unlikely to produce any big changes but the next summit, hosted by China, would probably be more ambitious, according to UBC political scientist Yves Tiberghien.

“China will embark on a different agenda with its G-20 presidency,” Tiberghien wrote in a Nikkei op-ed. “[Chinese President] Xi Jinping is signaling a real commitment to global economic institutions. China is clearly ready to invest significant time and effort on the 2016 G-20 summit and in advancing the global agenda on several key fronts.”